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3 million

have been forced to flee since 2014. The conflict has threatened millions of lives. Approximately 250,000 people have sought refuge in neighboring countries. 

6.5 million

More than 6.5 million Iraqis -approximately 18% of the population-, including 3 million women and girls, are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection. 


Approximately 360,000 Iraqis are displaced in informal settlements, including unfinished and abandoned buildings. They require additional aid to survive the winter. 



 About the Crisis in Iraq

Decades of conflict and widespread violence have resulted in more than 3.3 million Iraqis displaced across the country since 2014. It is estimated that approximately 6.7 million - approximately 18 percent of the population- are currently in need of humanitarian assistance, including 3 million children.

Although armed violence has declined in some parts of the country, armed groups and small scale military operations continue to carry out unpredictable attacks throughout the country, resulting in new displacements. As of 2019, almost 2 million people remain displaced inside Iraq -over half of whom have been displaced for more than three years- and 250,000 are hosted in neighboring countries. Of the total number of internally displaced, 71 percent have taken refuge in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. 

There are also 300,000 refugees in Iraq from neighboring countries — the vast majority escaping violence and persecution in Syria. 

As the humanitarian crisis enters its fifth year, millions of families living in protracted displacement situations are reaching breaking point. They have exhausted their financial resources over the years and continue to face constrained access to basic services and critical protection risks. They are in desperate need of life-saving aid.


Omar, the big man in Mosul

What is UNHCR doing to help in Iraq?

The UN Refugee Agency is on the ground in Iraq and surrounding regions, working to protect and provide emergency relief efforts to refugees and internally-displaced people (IDPs). Together with partners and government authorities, UNHCR undertakes the following activities:

  • Protection of Refugees, IDPs and Returnees: includes activities related to registration, legal and psychosocial support, prevention and response to SGBV and sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), child protection, reunification of separated families and monitoring of safe, voluntary and dignified returns.
  • Shelter and Basic Needs: UNHCR assists vulnerable families with their most basic needs, including shelter, cash assistance and core relief items (tents, mattresses, plastic sheeting, kitchen sets, buckets and other essentials).
  • Camp Coordination and Management: in camps, UNHCR works to ensure adequate shelter, delivery of food and water, presence of education and health facilities and capacity building for stakeholders.

Learn more about What We Do.

Stories from the Iraq Refugee Crisis

Iraq Refugee Crisis Explained

UNHCR gives hope to displaced children in Iraq

See all stories about the Iraq refugee crisis >

Refugee Camps and Settlements in Iraq

Hamid Abdelraza and his family stand outside their Refugee Housing Unit (RHU) in Al Jamea'a camp.

  • 1.5 million displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugees have moved into the Kurdistan region of Iraq, where 25 percent of the population is displaced.
  • More than 450,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) are living in formal camp locations and approximately 360,000 are in informal settlements.
  • In February of 2019, eight camps were closed which resulted in secondary displacement and premature returns. 
  • In 2018, there were 256,725 pending asylum claims from Iraq.
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